The year 2009 will not be forgotten for a lot of reasons, but for GE Marine it marked the 40th anniversary of its LM2500 gas turbine in service with the United States Navy.

“The first LM2500 gas turbine began operating in 1969, powering the U.S. Navy’s GTS Adm. Callaghan cargo ship. Forty years later, the U.S. Navy continues to select the LM2500 to power the latest surface combatants in its fleet,” said Brien Bolsinger, general manager, GE Marine, Evendale, Ohio, U.S.A. “Through primarily its own funding, GE has invested millions of dollars over this 40-year period to provide benefits to our global customers. The result is the realization of improved reliability and significant reduction in total cost of ownership. In return, customers have rewarded us with a tremendous business opportunity that also takes on a sense of national pride here in GE Marine,” Bolsinger said.

“Providing the necessary power to the U.S. Navy and allied ships every time it’s needed — in any condition and at the lowest life-cycle cost — is the name of the game for us. This translates
into a long and reliable track record that we intend to continue for many years to come,” Bolsinger added.  Over the last four decades, GE said it has kept this aeroderivative gas turbine up to date with continued technological enhancements to the LM2500 engine family.

In 1983, GE uprated the LM2500,  increasing the power rating capacity from 27 500 to 29 500 shaft horsepower (shp) (20 507 to 21 998 shaft  kilowatts [skW]) at ISO conditions. The progression of the LM2500 product line continued in 1995, when GE began development and testing of the LM2500+ gas turbine.

The LM2500+ offers 40 500 shp (30 201 skW) — 25 to 30% more power than the LM2500 — with a simple- cycle thermal efficiency in excess of 39%. The LM2500+ maximizes the
LM2500 design commonality with technology advancements, and features its forerunner’s precedent-setting 99.6% reliability. Its high efficiency, reliability and installation flexibility make the LM2500+ ideal for a wide variety of marine, power generation and mechanical
drive applications.

GE continues to invest in research and development for the LM2500 and its entire LM family of gas turbines. In 2005, GE introduced the LM2500+G4 engine, which has a 6% increase in
airflow over the LM2500+ model and a 47 370 shp (35 324 skW) rating.

The LM2500+G4 is now certified by Bureau Veritas, RINA S.p.A. and American Bureau of Shipping (naval vessel rules). To date, GE has on order or delivered 78 LM2500+G4 gas
turbines for both marine and industrial applications, with a high-time engine logging in excess of 16 000 hours in service. According to E. Alan Karpovitch, U.S. Navy propulsion program manager, “The U.S. Navy’s use of this power plant in over 175 ships has proven to be a reliable, dense power unit. The U.S. Navy has accumulated over 13 million hours of service on our total
LM2500 population since the beginning of the USS Spruance and USS Oliver Hazard Perry class applications.

The Navy’s current mean time between removal for the gas generator is 24 125 hours, and for the power turbine is 27 875 hours.” The current LM2500 fleet totals over 2500 engines, operating in marine and industrial applications, including 30 navies worldwide. The global LM2500 fleet has accumulated nearly 100 million operating hours. Alone, the U.S. Navy has taken delivery of over 700 LM2500 gas turbines operating onboard a variety of vessels.

In 1969, the GTS Adm. Callaghan sailed from Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S.A., on a transatlantic voyage to Bremerhaven, Germany, with the first GE LM2500 aeroderivative gas turbine operating aboard the vessel. This installation sparked a renaissance n the marine industry that has since changed the way ship propulsion systems are developed. Presently, he Callaghan is in service as part f the U.S. Navy’s ready reserve force, roviding naval sea transportation eeds as necessary. The vessel is aintained by the Maritime Administration and operated by the Military
Sealift Command.


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